My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Choking Rain

An invisible strangler is stalking the streets of Los Angeles. In 1932, six months before the Olympic Games are to bring relief to a Depression-battered city, men are falling dead in the rain-swept streets, their necks broken as if by an invisible noose. An ex-fighter pilot uncovers a terror plot unlike anything ever seen. But when he is struck down, his survivors must brave one of the last untamed places on Earth to learn the secret of the Invisible Death--a secret designed to destroy America's greatest cities, one by one…
In the tradition of Doc Savage and The Avenger, The Choking Rain returns to the time between the wars, when nations were jockeying for power, women hadn't been liberated, and there were still wild corners of the world as unknown as the surface of the Moon...


The Choking Rain (Pulp Adventure/Mystery)
“Book One of The Nemesis”
By Brian Lowe
Independent Publishing Platform
ASIN #B00T44SLHC
Price #2.99 (Kindle)
266 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“A Fun Story”

Men connected to the Emerald American Railroad Company are dying in the rain from strangulation, as if an invisible killer is walking the streets of L. A.
Detective-Sergeant Ted Kane is on the case. When millionaire Terence Aloysius O’Donnell’s daughter, Mary watches her fiancé die in front of her, Kane wants to question her. He’s surprised to find her in the company of his best friend’s sister, Katherine Reinhold, and with her in possible danger he calls Eric “Captain Swashbuckle” Reinhold to come and help with the investigation. Eric brings along two more friends, T.J. “Professor Death” Gillis and Damien Pierrot. Together, the old pals tackle the mystery with Katherine’s help.

The story is set during a heavy raining season in Southern California, as a mysterious brain behind a scheme kills to get what they want. The trail leads to the jungles of Brazil, giant snakes, headhunters, and a German camp of soldiers hidden from prying eyes. Can Captain Swashbuckle and his fighting team discover of secret mastermind and stop the strange deaths in L.A. before the Olympic Games?

There is some similarity to Doc Savage, Pat Savage, Monk, Ham, and Renny, and the adventure was fun. The story has a strong plot. However, at times the dialogue reminded me of The Bowery Boys or Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, but that’s not bad, as I loved those characters. The running about tended to sound like The Keystone Cops, however, and the story read a bit slow; yes, there were plenty of things happening, but it just seemed to drag on and on without getting anywhere fast. And pulp stories should never drag. Still, this is a darn good plot and I liked the characters, regardless of a few uses of wrong words and some problems with formatting – scene changes, mostly. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Death Walks Behind You

It begins with a cryptic message sent to four of America's leading industrialist crucial to the war effort against the Axis Powers. Then these four men are dead, hideously murdered by the Crimson Scorpion.
With war production at risk, Super-Detective Jim Anthony must race against time to solve the riddle of the Crimson Scorpion. However, danger lurks in every shadow for he has received the message as well: 'DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU!' Can he solve the mystery in time? Or will he fall at the hands of a villain who threatens the world?


Death Walks Behind You (Pulp Mystery/Adventure)
By Andrew Salmon
Timepiece Press
ASIN #B0196AUPUO
76 Pages
Price (Free on Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

“For Pulp Fans And Lovers of Good Action”

Men of industry are being murdered, and then their factories are taken over by other firms. When Orson Woolcott III is killed nearby as Jim Anthony, Tom Gentry, and Jim’s fiancé, Delores Colquitt are returning to the hotel, Jim rushes to the murder scene and discovers a horrendous corpse bleeding out a form of mustard gas. It’s the beginning of another great mystery to be solved, and a dire plot aimed at our fighting men in Europe.

I love stories set during WWII, and Jim Anthony was one of the better clones of Doc Savage back in the days of the pulp magazines. This story could have easily been published in the original pulps, as it read true to the original character. The story moves fast, and keeps the reader involved. I highly recommend this for pulp fans, and lovers of good action and adventure mysteries.

Tom Johnson

Author of CARNIVAL OF DEATH

Friday, November 24, 2017

59th Anniversary


59th Anniversary: On November 24th, 1958, Tom Johnson, age 18 and 4 months old, joined the US Army to see the world, and he did (LOL). Hard to believe it was that long ago. I’ve been retired for almost 40 years now. Did someone call me old? Yeah, I feel it, too (G).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Daredevils

1925 – What happens in the roaring twenties when a daredevil barnstormer falls in love with a wing-walking flapper threatened by dangerous men who will exploit her? Orphan and wing-walker Gloria needs a job when her boss dies in a barnstorming accident. With no other jobs available, she sweet-talks Rand into letting her walk his wing. Flying Ace Rand fights wartime injuries that hamper his flying even as he works to gain the world-record for solo flight across the Atlantic. He bucks his wealthy dad’s plans for him to settle down, join the company, and marry a socialite. Rand falls in love with the courageous, fun-loving, talented, and above all daring Gloria. But Orphan Gloria’s experienced too many men who promise love and marriage and instead take advantage of her being alone in the world. She holds Rand at arm’s length. Without her knowledge, Rand protects her and makes sure she doesn’t starve. When Gloria’s offered a movie contract Rand knows he must intervene. Will Gloria turn her back on fame and fortune to wed a man addicted to danger?


Daredevils (Action/Christian Romance)
By Anne Greene
Winged Publications
ISBN #978-1944203900
102 Pages
Price $5.74 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

“The Kind of Story I wish I had Written”

Gloria Richards, an orphan who has chosen a life of danger and excitement, works as a barnstorming wing-walker to earn her living. When Buzz Greenwood, her last pilot, crashes the Silver Lining, on her day off, it leaves her without a job. She hasn’t collected her last paycheck, but Buzz left a wife and twin daughters, and they would need the money. She can either go back to singing at the mob run local dive in Kitty Hawk, or get a job with ex-war ace, Rand Maitland.

Maitland is trying to make it on his own, without his family’s money, using his government pension he received for a war injury he doesn’t want anyone to know about. To be sure, he doesn’t have enough money to pay for a wing-walker, but Gloria appears to twist him around her fingers when she’s near. He eventually comes around to her way of thinking when he learns she can also work miracles with a plane’s engine, as well as his heart.

Okay, this is the kind of story I wish I had written. It’s set in the period I love, the early 20th century, 1925 to be exact, just seven years after WWI, and features bi-planes. Barnstorming is a plot that should appeal to all action lovers, and this has a little of everything: mobsters, Jenny bi-planes, an injured war ace, and a beautiful girl who is not afraid of danger. The author is a Christian. Her writing is topnotch without preaching, and the story moves quickly and smoothly, and I loved it. If I have a complaint, it’s that we don’t really have a scene of Gloria performing on the wing during a stunt. I think such a scene would have added a tense moment more frightening than the confrontation with the mobsters. If that wasn’t enough for readers, just look at that great cover, it’s what attracted me to this author, and I’m glad it did. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of PANGAEA: EDEN’S PLANET 

Monday, November 20, 2017

War's End: The Storm

In the day after tomorrow, after the socioeconomic collapse of the United States, one young girl fights for survival. Violently ripped from her family, abused and now pregnant, Jess must somehow survive while fleeing those who pursue her. Jess must come to peace with the life growing inside her as she struggles to return home.


War’s End: The Storm (Post-Apocalyptic War)
By Christine D. Shuck
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1499170504
Price $9.98 (paperback
Price $ (Kindle)
263 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“This Could Happen”

The town of Warsend is in the path of a lawless army of violent men, raping and looting as they pass all communities in their path. At Warsend they capture young men for their army and young women for their pleasures. Jess and her brother Allen are among the captured, as is Erin, Jess’s friend. If they are to survive they must escape while they still have their sanity and will to live.

I like the author’s writing, but I must admit this was a horrific tale to follow. There is rape, torture, and vicious killing of the young and elderly. America is under the guns of every vicious would-be army of killers and violent men without humanity that ever played war. They travel with their tent whores – young girls captured from towns they rape and pillage. It’s not a story easily read, but it does serve to show us what could happen in a lawless state of no government or law. The army takes what it wants, and does what it will, and there are no repercussions. Read this book, and appreciate your local law and city government, for without them we would live in a world of chaos. It could happen if we’re not awake and prepared for the eventuality. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of WORLDS OF TOMORROW


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Suburra

Suburra takes a deep dive into a politically and financially corrupt contemporary Italy, where a mighty local crime family, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, and new rabid criminal elements battle each other for control of a glittering prize—control over a multibillion dollar development twenty miles from the Italian capital.
         During the final days of Silvio Berlusconi’s reign, a massive development proposal that will turn the depressed coastal settlement of Ostia into a gambling paradise, a Las Vegas on the Mediterranean, is winding its way through the Italian legislature thanks to the sponsorship of politicians in the pay of crime syndicates. It’s business as usual in the Italian capital. Or so it seems. A vicious gang of local thugs loyal to nobody but themselves is insisting on a bigger cut than agreed upon. The Mafia and their political puppets aren’t going to back down without a fight.
         Orchestral in its movement and sweeping in its ambition, Suburra is a compelling, provocative portrait of contemporary Rome—a city prey to pitiless criminal factions and political opportunism. Suburra has already been adapted into a critically acclaimed Italian film and soon to be a Netflix Original Series.


Suburra (International Crime)
By Carlo Bonini & Giancarlo De Cataldo
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609454074
Price $12.02 (Paperback)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
521 Pages
Rating 2-Stars

Modern Italy is the contemporary setting for this yarn. It pits a local criminal gang, corrupt politicians and the Mafia against each other, as they battle over a multi-million dollar development project, bringing a gambling casino to a town near Rome. Thankfully, there is a two-page listing of the cast of characters at the first of the book, so we can refer to it to remember who everyone is. As it was, I almost gave up on the story a long time before I reached the final pages. Why I continued reading, I don’t know.

I knew going into the story that there would be violent crime, sex, and profanity, but I stuck it out because Europa Editions usually brings us interesting writers from overseas. But this story is packed solid with crime and political corruption, and I found very little to like in the book. The characters are stereotypes of every Mafia movie you’ve ever seen, and the dialogue is so stilted it left me in pain. There is very little to recommend about this book. You have to be a die-hard fan of violent Mafia and corruption to enjoy this type novel. I am not. Let’s hope the Netflix series is written better, with actors able to bring the story off, but I’m not counting on it.

Tom Johnson

Author of ASSIGNMENT: NINA FONTAYNE